An Open Letter to
The Honourable Chief Justice,
Andhra Pradesh High Court
4 December, 2020
We, as a group working towards achieving a safer and more just society for women, are writing this open letter to you in great dismay at some recent developments in Andhra Pradesh state.
As you are aware, the alleged gang-rape case of 11 adivasi women of the Kondh tribe by 13 men of AP Special Police personnel during a raid conducted in Vakapalli, has had a long legal history since August 2007, first in High Court of Andhra Pradesh and then in Supreme Court, and now in the SC/ST Special Court where it is in the final stages of hearing. After a decade-long chequered legal battle, the Supreme Court in 2017 ordered that the case be heard by an SC/ST Special Court. Whether the High Court or Supreme Court, the judiciary stood by the victims all these years and has helped to institute a special court for hearing the case.
Today, 5th August 2020, marks a year since the abrogation of Article 370 and 35A and the beginning of the clampdown on communication in Kashmir.
A four-member team from WSS had visited Kashmir from September 23-28, 2019 to interact with the people, especially women and children, to understand the present conditions since the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A of the Indian Constitution and the bifurcation of the State into two union territories, and to express solidarity with them in their struggle. The team traveled across the districts of Srinagar, Shopian in the South and Baramulla and Kupwara in the North and interacted with people from various walks of life: older and younger women ‘trapped’ in their homes, schoolteachers, hospital functionaries, hawkers, scrap-dealers, roadside vendors, shopkeepers, orchard owners, taxi and auto drivers, school and college students, lawyers, journalists, and activists. They visited villages and mohallas, courts and hospitals at random and were not guided by anyone.
The observations, conversations and discussions they had during this visit came together as ‘Zulm Zakhm Azaadi: Women’s Voices of Resistance in Kashmir‘.
We would like to offer the book to every person interested in understanding what the events of the past year have meant for the life of an ordinary Kashmiri.
Zulm_Zakhm_Azaadi is free to download, but contributions are welcome! Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for contributions or to order a hard copy of the book. (Cost = 100/- + courier charges)
Press Release February 6th 2020
40 Days On: Aftermath and the On-going Struggles in Uttar Pradesh
A five member team from Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS) conducted a fact finding visit in four districts of Western Uttar Pradesh – Meerut, Muzaffarnagar, Shamli and Bijnor, on 1st and 2nd of February 2020 to document the situation 40 days after the incidents of alleged police brutalities, which occurred on December 18th, 19th and 20th 2019 in light of protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). The team met the people who have lost their family members to police firing and also those who were arrested and/or detained in the days following the incidents. Continue reading
8 th January 2020
Condemn the Police Brutality in Universities
Women against Sexual violence and State repression (WSS) strongly condemns the violence unleashed in the JNU campus and the murderous attack on JNUSU president, Aishe Ghosh, Professors Sucharita Sen, Saugata Bhaduri , Ameet Parmeshwar, other students and faculty members by masked goons on the evening of 5th January 2020. The masked mob comprising of men and women , used bats, lathis, iron rods and stones to vandalise hostels and beat up students and faculty members. The road leading to JNU was cordoned off and street lights were switched off during the attack. The attackers also obstructed ambulances and prevented other medical help from reaching the injured students. Violence on unarmed students, is a sign of unchecked power and impunity as it is evident from the fact that no person is identified or taken into custody. The attack was well orchestrated and planned, with the administration, security guards and police complicit in the attack. The attack staged by faceless-masked individuals on one hand speaks of cowardliness as well as impunity. The facelessness gives impunity to the assaulters in light of videos of protesters being made by the police or as seen in UP used to send notices and false cases applied. Further, such an act allows core the narrative to be turned and twisted in the hands of those in power. Continue reading
हैदराबाद और उन्नाव के बलात्कार और हत्याओं के खिलाफ WSS का बयान
6 दिसम्बर 2019 को तेलंगाना पुलिस ने चार निहत्थे लौरी मज़दूर जिनकी उम्र 20 से 24 साल की थी को उस जगह अपनी गोलियों से मौत के घाट उतार दिया जहां उन्होंने कथित रूप से एक हफ्ता पहले एक 26 साल की महिला के साथ सामूहिक दुष्कर्म कर उसकी हत्या की थी। ठीक इसी दोपहर उन्नाव की एक 23 साल की महिला जो पिछले साल अपने साथ हुए सामूहिक बलात्कार के अपराधियों की पहचान के लिये रायबरेली कोर्ट में गवाही के लिये जा रही थी। इन अभियुक्तों में से एक को गिरफ्तार किया जा चुका था परंतु ठीक जिस दिन कोर्ट में सुनवाई होनी थी उसके एक हफ्ते पहले ही वह जमानत पर छूट चुका था। यह लड़की उस दिन कोर्ट पहुंच ही नहीं सकी क्योंकि उसे रास्ते में ही पांच आदमियों ने ज़िंदा जला डाला। जिनमें से दो उसके बलात्कार के भी अभियुक्त थे। और उनमें से एक वही था जिसे कुछ दिनो पहले ही ज़मानत मिली थी। आग की लपटों से जलती हुई वह एक किलोमीटर का रास्ता तय करके अस्पताल पहुंची। उसका 90 फीसदी शरीर जल चुका था। दो दिन के भीतर ही उसने अपना दम तोड़ दिया। जिस समय उसकी मौत हुई ठीक उससे पहले हैदराबाद के लोग युवा पशुचिकित्सक के कथित चार बलात्कारियों की पुलिस कस्टडी मे हुई हत्या का यह कहकर जश्न मना रहे थे कि ‘न्याय’ हुआ है। Continue reading